A/N: I am so incredibly sorry about how long this took me to update. Besides life getting in the way of writing, I actually started writing this to challenge myself. I'm trying to do something different than my typical, something not fluffy, but something more. Basically, I decided to challenge myself and found myself challenged, especially with the tone of this chapter as it differs from the previous and from some of the future chapters. The story is going to span years and chapters are encounters/changes so…I don't really now how to say it, but I guess this is just the way things have to be. Not everything can be about the darkness and desperation; there are other things to life, to their lives. And as this is the ride of their lives what it consist of has to vary, yet I'm still trying to repeat a feeling in the chapters, so you see why I've been finding myself challenged. Future chapters will also be about this length and, I'm guessing, just as challenging, so though I'll try to never let so much time pass without updating again, I can't promise anything except for that I'll try.

Oh, and this takes place just over a year after the event of chapter one. And just a tip as you read keep in mind that everything is important, though meaning may not be revealed now, meaning for everything does exist.


"Freddy! Freddy! Earth to Freddy!" Dewey yelled as he waved his hand in front of the dazed out teenager's face.

"Sorry what were you saying?" Freddy asked suddenly snapping back to reality.

"I said you're escorting Katie down the aisle. What's with you? You're all calm and un-spazzy," Dewey inquired as he tried to wipe away some of the oodles of sweat on his face.

Pulling at the collar of his tux uncomfortably, Freddy retorted, "There's nothing wrong with me, but there is definitely something wrong with you. Why are you so nervous? You've been dating Miss Mullins forever; you had to know this day was coming."

Dewey didn't seem to be listening to anything Freddy said as he nervously chewed on what remnants of fingernails he had left. With his hand still in his mouth Dewey ordered, "Dude, just do your partial best man replacement duties and make sure Roz is…here."

With a groan Freddy replied, "Come on! Of course she's here, she's been trying to get you to marry her for like the last three years!"

"And you're replacing Ned because his wife just had to go into labor early, and if Ned was here, he'd be on top of stuff so get going and make sure the bride is here," Dewey ordered again.

"Make your other replacement best man do it," Freddy retorted lazily.

"Sure. You find Zack, you can make him do it. I can't believe he's late to my wedding," Dewey said frustrated as rubbed his face with his hands.

With another groan, Freddy got off the ground and conceded to a pacing Dewey, "Fine. I'll go be your best man. Then I'm killing Zack for being late and leaving me to deal with your insanity alone."

"Make sure all the bridesmaids are here too!" Dewey yelled to a departing Freddy.

It was an outdoor ceremony in a park, but Ros happened to live near by so she was supposed to be getting ready at her house.

Not knowing what he would find by simply opening the probably unlocked door and walking in, Freddy knocked first. Upon laying eyes on the person who opened the door Freddy busted out in uncontrollable laughter.

Katie pushed Freddy, who was practically keeled over with enormous laughs, further outside so she could join him on the porch. She shut the front door behind them so they wouldn't be over heard.

Freddy managed to spit out between laughs, "That…is the ugliest dress…I have ever seen!"

"You mean I don't make this look good?" Katie asked feigning hurt.

Calming down considerably Freddy replied, "No one could make that look good. It's…awful."

Katie gave a twirl in her bright yellow Southern Bell-ish bridesmaids dress. Freddy was absolutely right, it was the ugliest thing ever created. It was Scarlet O'Hara meets eighty's prom. It was big, puffy, unflattering, and to top it all off it was covered in bows. Not just any bows, but lime green ones that stood out immensely against the bright yellow. Katie counted twenty bows on her dress, but as she wore it now it only had ten (the others "accidentally" came off).

"And after seeing me in this my step-mom actually asked me why I didn't bring a date. As if I would want a date to see me in this. You don't get over this. It must have been designed by the tackiest person ever," Katie complained pulling at the abundance of fabric that surrounded her.

"Oh, so Billy came back and designed it," Freddy joked.

Though she was smiling Katie did not appreciate the put down and admonished, "That is so uncalled for. And Billy actually couldn't make it back. He's still in L.A., Fashion design school isn't out for the summer yet."

"Yeah? So who is here then?" Freddy inquired.

"Well, Lawrence couldn't come back. He's studying abroad for the summer in England. Summer's here, she's a bridesmaid too. Michelle, Gordon, and Frankie are here. Tomika is back and she brought Mario. I know you've never liked the guy just because he listens to other music besides rock, but don't get into your usual arguments, its Dewey's wedding." Freddy looked like he was going to retort, but Katie continued quickly and sternly, "Marta's back and you're not going to recognize her. Living in Colorado these last five years has really done wonders on her. Alicia's maybe going to be by later, but she couldn't get the day off of work so if she makes it at all it will probably only be late in the reception. Oh, and the biggest news, Eleni and Marco are here together. Their parents randomly met at the country club last November and they had no idea their kids knew each other, but they set them up on a blind date. They both said it was awkward at first, but then suddenly it wasn't, and now they've been together for the last seven months."

Freddy was silent for a minute, trying to grasp all the information being thrown at him, finally asking, "How the hell do you know all that?"

Katie shrugged and replied simply, "I keep in touch with my friends." Looking at Freddy she continued pointedly, "Unlike some people who never respond to e-mails."

"I wrote back," Freddy defended.

Putting on a deeper voice Katie mocked, "Oh yeah, 'Life sucks. Parents crazy. Going to sleep now.' Or, 'Today I slept, ate, and slept some more.' That does not constitute a response. You wanna know why I know things about everyone else? They tell me!"

"That's all I've had to tell! It's been a very uneventful year," Freddy rebutted.

"And with nothing else to do you'd think you'd actually keep in better touch with people. Did you even keep in touch with anyone at all?" Katie questioned.

"Yeah, Zack attack of course," Freddy replied as if it should have been obvious, but continued remembering, "Oh yeah, do you know where Zack is? He was supposed to be here, but I haven't seen him and he's one of the reason's Dewey's all flipping out."

"Nope, haven't seen him," Katie said honestly.

"Do you know where Summer is? Maybe she knows where Zack's at," Freddy said ignorantly.

Katie smiled self satisfyingly, "Ah! I knew it! You didn't keep in touch with ANYONE! Not even Zack because if you kept in touch with him you'd know that him and Summer broke up three months ago."

"What? How?" Freddy asked completely shocked.

"He's Boston U and she's Harvard and they're close, but not close enough. Both of them kept claiming that the other one wasn't making any time for the other and they just didn't see each other. And when they did see each other they fought because they kept blaming each other for why they hadn't seen each other in so long. I guess everything just fell apart. And you know Summer; she doesn't get hurt, so she's been acting like nothing ever happened, like Zack never existed, like she was never happy in a relationship. She's got the Great Wall around her again. And Zack's been keeping hermit status. He hasn't written or called me back since," Katie explained.

"Yeah I guess it's been about three months since I've heard from him too. I did stay in touch with him, it was just through the occasional text messaging though," Freddy admitted.

"Mm-hmm, he hasn't been responding to anything from anyone. I thought about going down their to see him but I just never made it, no time," Katie said regretfully.

Freddy had a sudden realization at Katie's last word, "Oh, damn time, right…um…everyone's here right? Except Zack of course."

"Yep and we're all ready to go since she had us get here five hours ago when it only took two to get ready," Katie informed.

"What have you been doing since then?" Freddy asked curiously.

"Watching Titanic, it's her favorite movie," Katie answered as her face contorted to show her clear dislike of the movie.

"Not a fan?" Freddy questioned.

"Apparently I'm too cynical to get the sentiment," Katie replied with a roll of her eyes as she opened the door to return to the bridal party. Before fully entering she added, "Go tell Dewey that Ros will be meeting him at their makeshift alter and find Zack. We're supposed to be starting in fifteen minutes so hurry."

"Yeah and you go back in and watch Jack die. Try not too get too emotional," Freddy replied sarcastically.

Freddy and Katie went their separate ways to their separate duties. When Freddy returned to Dewey, Zack was with him, but after Freddy delivered his ordered message both were sent to the other end of the man maid aisle to wait to escort the bridesmaids.

Once they were out of earshot of Dewey, Zack spoke first, "Don't say anything."

"Like ever at all?" Freddy questioned as if he didn't know exactly what Zack was talking about.

Zack replied quickly and firmly, "I know you must know by now and I don't want to talk about it so just don't say anything."

"No problem, I have no reason to say anything, never liked her that much anyway. She had you all brainwashed thinking being whipped was a good thing. That is not the type of girl you should be with," Freddy replied giving his usual argument.

With a frustrated sigh Zack replied, "Dude that constitutes saying something."

"What's with the big word? Why can't you just say, 'You just did say something,' or anything simple. See that's her influence again. When a girl starts affecting your word choice, she has way too much influence on your life," Freddy continued talking about the forbidden topic.

"Not that you would know, Freddy, since you've never had a relationship over two weeks," Katie pointed out as she had arrived and immediately joined the conversation. Before Freddy could reply with anything more than a feigned offended look, Katie continued to Zack, "How are you?" Zack shrugged, not committing to anything definite. Katie warned, "Well, you're partnered with her, for the walk down and up the aisle. That's what you get for not letting everyone know you broke up. I hope you're ready." Katie gave Zack a sympathetic pat on the shoulder before leaving the boys and returning to the approaching bride and bridal party.

"Is my veil straight?" Ros asked anxiously.

Summer assessed the veil carefully before replying, "It's perfect."

"Okay, okay, okay," Ros muttered in between deep breaths. She took one final deep breath, saw Dewey standing about thirty feet ahead of her at the alter and concluded calmly, "Let's get this started."

Summer didn't look at Zack; she simply took his offered arm and kept her eyes glued to her destination at the other end of the aisle. She was protecting herself, trying to remain composed and in control.

Zack's eyes hadn't left her since she arrived. He finally spoke to her just after the music began and right before they were supposed to start walking down the aisle. He looked at her as he said quietly and sincerely, "You look beautiful." He looked away and to his destination.

She looked to him briefly, her Great Wall clearly instantly starting to crumble. She looked forward again as they began their walk down the aisle together.

"Fifty bucks they're back together by the end of the night," Freddy whispered to Katie after the scene they witnessed.

"That's a suckers bet," Katie replied in a hushed tone as they started their walk down the aisle, "besides fifty is officially way too steep for me."

Freddy didn't understand Katie's last comment, he never knew that she had money troubles, but he didn't have time to ask her about it before they were at the end of the aisle.

On their trip back up the aisle following the new happy couple and the matron of honor (Ros's sister), Freddy did not get the opportunity to talk to Katie with the rupture of applause.

And, of course, following the ceremony was the long process of pictures. When Freddy tried to speak during them he encountered a very angry glare from Mrs. Finn clearly telling him that his talking was ruining the pictures, a crime, that if he continued to commit, would encounter sever punishment.

Yet after socializing and catching up with all their friends fate had lead them to be all alone as they sat down at an empty table at the reception, which was only feet away from the spot the ceremony was in the same park. Zack and Summer had disappeared between pictures and walking to the empty table, but they saved two seats for them anyway, or actually six seats because all the other guests had already settled into other tables and conversations which left no one straggling left to sit with them.

Freddy was about to dive right in with the questions when Katie started pulling at her back, at least with Katie facing him that's how it appeared to Freddy. Before he could even ask what was going on she turned around and asked with her hands on the zipper of her dress which she had only gotten down an inch, "This is stuck, can you get it for me?"

Freddy didn't question why she wanted her dress off he just fiddled with the zipper until he got it to work and slid it smoothly all the way down to it's end at the small of her back.

"Well you certainly don't hesitate to undress a girl," Katie commented as he finished and she stepped out of her monstrosity of a dress to reveal that she was wearing another dress underneath.

"Never," Freddy managed to reply as he stared at the girl before him in a very curve hugging red spaghetti strap dress that fell a few inches above her knees.

Noticing that Freddy was staring, she smiled and asked giving a quick twirl to showoff her new dress, "Better?"

"Hell yes," Freddy replied enthusiastically as he continued to ogle her.

She shoved him lightly, playfully and said, "Okay perv, enough staring now."

"I am not a pervert," Freddy retorted and explained, "I just have an appreciation for the hotness of some females, like you. Though, I am disappointed to see that you didn't put on a freshman fifteen, that means I just lost twenty bucks."

"You bet that I'd gain weight my first year of college?" Katie asked surprised and offended.

"Yeah, and with your eating habits I thought it was a sure win," Freddy replied like it was no big deal.

Katie shrugged, over it because it was just Freddy being Freddy, obnoxious and inappropriate. "Well sorry for actually eating, but I like food."

Digging into the food that had been placed in front of them Freddy replied with food disgustingly coming out of his mouth as he spoke, "You don't need to apologize. You eat more than I do but you still look hot and that's all that really matters."

"And what if I was fat?" Katie asked as she neatly began eating her meal, napkin placed in lap, elbows off the table.

With his napkin laying unused underneath his elbow on the table Freddy replied with a mouth full, "Then I wouldn't be sitting here cause I can't be seen with ugly, it's bad for my image."

"First, what image? And secondly, after all these years you wouldn't be my friend just because I had gotten fat?" Katie continued to question.

"Not in public I wouldn't be your friend," Freddy answered, took a drink of his water and continued, "And what do you mean, 'what image?' I'm Freddy Jones, kick ass drummer and incredibly hot guy, and hanging out with a dog would completely ruin my standards of image."

"Hanging out with a fat girl makes it look okay for other less pretty girls to try and hit on you? Is that what you think?" Katie tried to understand, but to her it didn't make sense which she knew meant it would to Freddy.

"Yep, you always get what I'm thinking," Freddy replied.

"An unfortunate burden of knowing you most of my life," Katie replied with a sarcastically sweet smile.

They reminisced about days gone by for the rest of the meal. The talked about any memory that stuck out to them working from the beginning in grammar school, through middle school, and quickly breezing by high school not finding much to talk about for it, until finally they got to the present.

Freddy had actually forgotten he was going to ask her about financial comment, but remembered as she had just finished telling him about the classes she took her first year at NYU, "What was that money thing you said earlier? You strapped for cash Johnson?"

"Same as any college student Jones," she replied copying him by referring to him by his last name as he had done to her. He gave her a look that she knew meant he wanted a real answer to the question and she complied elaborating, "My dad's only paying the academic tuition, not for any living costs or books or anything. Living on campus was actually too expensive to manage so I had to move off to this crappy apartment in Brooklyn halfway through the first semester. It's fine though, I had two part time jobs last school year and I have a full time job for the summer."

Katie could take care of herself, and he knew it so he didn't argue her on that, but he did question, "Why isn't your dad paying for more?"

Katie sighed and replied leaning back in her chair, "I don't know, he just said that the academic tuition was all he was going to pay and you know how we don't talk so I didn't question it. It doesn't matter anyway, I don't need his help."

Gazing at the ground Freddy asked a little uncomfortably, "So things are still the same with you and your dad?"

Also gazing away from him she replied hopelessly, "After all these years did you really think anything would change?" He didn't respond, not really knowing what to say as he never did when it came to Katie and her dad. Katie continued changing the topic, "What about your parents? How are they?"

"Insane," Freddy said seriously as his eyes met hers again, "my dad decided to retire early. Then at the same time my mom decided to drop all of her social activities crap and all they've been doing is spending time with each other at home. They're always at home and they're always happy and trying to get me and Via to join in with their insane family crap projects."

Katie was laughing by the time Freddy's serious rant finished. Of course Freddy would think that having his parents around and happy is the worst thing in the world. Not to mention that this was his biggest problem and he was taking it like it was the end of civilization. Before Freddy could tell her that it wasn't funny, but completely awful, Katie questioned, "How is your sister?"

"She's refusing to let me, or anyone else, call her Via anymore. It's Olivia," Freddy imitated his sister saying her name in a high pitched whiny voice. He concluded, "She's thirteen and has become a nightmare, but she's still not as bad as the 'rents. And don't laugh, I'm serious, it's awful."

"Sure it is Freddy," she said with a slight roll of her eyes, "You know I'd love to have what you consider to be your problems."

"Take…Oh shit!" Freddy exclaimed with sudden revelation. He stood up and looked around frantically, "Where the hell is Zack? Do you see Zack?"

Katie glanced around, also scanning the crowd for Summer who disappeared quite some time ago. She replied, "No, why? What's going on?"

"The best man speech! I forgot about it and now Zack's gone so I can't make him do it," Freddy replied plopping back down in his chair.

"Don't worry about it; you have plenty of time to come up with something. They just started the music so the first dance will be soon, then a few more dances, then the money dance, then the cake, and then during the cake the speeches. You have plenty of time, trust me, Ros went over the timetable with us," Katie tried to reply reassuringly, but she was missing the point.

Freddy clarified the point, "Time doesn't matter, I don't have anything to say. I completely suck at this stuff. You're a girl you have to help me."

"Well I don't doubt that you'll suck at it since your idea of a long term commitment is a week, but I can't help. I may be a girl, but that doesn't mean I have faith in any of this," Katie replied with a gesture to the wedding at large.

"What?" Freddy questioned not getting her meaning.

"Love," she replied simply.

"You don't believe in love?" Freddy inquired needing further clarification.

"Not necessarily," Katie replied cryptically.

"Okay, oh wise one, explain," Freddy said with a slightly mocking tone.

Katie ignored his tone and explained, "Just like everything else it has shades of gray. Some people get to fall in love and the person they love loves them back, but not always. Some people never find real love but get crushed by the illusion. Some people settle for something that's not love, but not solitude either. And just because someone happens to be one of those rare people that gets lucky and loves and gets loved in return, it doesn't mean everything will work out because this is the real world and not everything is perfect, life can just ruin things."

After a second of silence Freddy replied, "Well aren't we cynical?"

"And bitter too," Katie replied with a flash of her eyes that glinted with playful humor.

"Josh the jerk?" Freddy questioned using Katie's ex's post break up given nickname.

"Over it," she replied simply, "he was just one of the many things that helped me get a more realistic personality."

"And as much as I find the increased cynicism entertaining, it's not exactly appropriate for a toast to the newlyweds. Come on now, reach into that girl next door personality of yours and find me something to say," Freddy implored returning to his selfish tendencies and getting the topic back to saving him from humiliation.

"What girl next door personality?" Katie asked curiously.

"You're a total girl next door. You're hot, you're nice, you're friends with everyone, and everyone, including adults, likes you. You're so into the whole thing that you even have special hand shakes with every single person from our middle school class and a ton of other people we went to high school with. How do you even remember what shake goes to what person?" Freddy explained.

"I remember because it's important to my friendship with each and every person that I remember, so I just do," Katie answered and argued, "but that doesn't make me the girl next door. All that may be true, but what about everything else? Like-"

"Like the fact that you're also a cynical bass player in former rock 'n roll band, a classical cellist, and sarcastic and stubborn? So you're a completely normal girl next door and you're a completely unusual weird chick. You're a massive contradiction," Freddy said cutting her off. He got back on track and prodded, "Now reach into that normal side of yours and find me something to say because according to your time table there's not much time left."

Katie scoffed and said in a somewhat childish tone, "Well, I never said that I still play the bass or the cello, so don't act like you actually know me."

Meeting her eyes unflinchingly Freddy replied with a very serious tone to his voice, "Of course you still play both of them, you love them too much to give them up."

"Damn you Freddy Jones for knowing me so well," Katie replied with agitation clear in her voice as she swatted at him playfully. He put his arms up to ward off her attack and she quickly tired of it and conceded, "Fine, I'll help you."

As the sun began setting, Dewey and Ros shared their first dance to "Best Of My Love" by The Eagles and Freddy and Katie got started on trying to come up with a toast. Yet, as Dewey and Ros, joined by the other guests, danced to America's "I Need You," Boston's "It's More Than A Feeling," and Van Halen's "Best of Both Worlds," Freddy began rejecting every suggestion Katie made claiming that they didn't sound cool enough. As the money dance continued through three of Ros's favorite Stevie Nicks songs, Katie finally convinced Freddy, with flattery, that whatever he said would sound good, no matter how cheesy, because he's cool like that (her lying words exactly).

Dewey knew better than to try and shove cake in Ros's face when they fed each other, but as she had already had quite a bit to drink (with Dewey's encouragement), her aim was off and she smeared him thoroughly with cake. Taking his cue from her, and finally noticing her intoxication, Dewey then launched cake at her face, which she, surprisingly, didn't mind in her altered state.

As cake was served to everyone, Ros's sister, the matron of honor gave the first toast, brief and general.

Then it was Freddy's turn.

He stood up and glanced around nervously. He looked to Katie, who was staring up at him smiling expectantly, and took a deep calming breath. He looked to the newlyweds and began the brief speech, "Dewey you are truly a rock 'n roll master. Ms. Mullins was the man and you managed to turn the man into your wife, Mrs. Finn, so…congratulations on a truly rock 'n roll…uh…thing. So, here's to the happy couple, may they have a great life together and always rock on." After drinks were briefly sipped, applause followed with a few hoots and whistles, for the speech that had, at least, an appreciated ending.

As Freddy sat back down Katie complimented, "Good job, even though you managed to forget it in the few seconds in between sitting and standing."

"We'll let's see you try it," Freddy defended and stood up again. Before Katie could stop him he said to the crowd at large, "Everyone, Katie would like to make a toast as well." He looked to her and ignored her angry glare as he said to get her up, "Katie."

She stood as he sat and gnawed on her bottom lip in a second of silence before coming up with, "Since Freddy butchered his speech so much I just wanted to add a little something so raise your glasses." Katie picked up her own glass of the table and concluded smoothly, "May we all be so lucky in love as Dewey and Roz and find someone to spend forever with. Here's to the happy couple, who we know will be blissful together forever and always."

Katie sat down as applause roared. She looked to Freddy with a smug smile.

"Damn you," he muttered angrily to her since she has pulled it off so well. Katie just laughed a little, she was surprised herself that she managed to find something to say and had initially expected succeed in his attempt of humiliating her. He was more surprised at what words she came up with and questioned, "What happened to that bitter cynical part of you that doesn't believe in all this? How could that part let you say those things?"

"Because, as you said, I'm still the girl next door and she always does things with sincerity, grace, and confidence," Katie replied smoothly.

"So what'll we have to get rid of that girl next door image?" Freddy said leaning into her a bit and raising a suggestive eyebrow.

She leaned in too, just to tempt him, and replied, "Not going to happen Jones."

"It's happened before," he said with a cocky smirk and continued, "and this is a wedding, you're a bridesmaid, I'm a groomsman, it's tradition that we hook up. You don't want to break tradition, do you?"

Katie didn't back away as she scoffed and replied, "First, hooking up was not what that was. And sec-"

"Then what was it?" Freddy asked interrupting her.

Katie was ready with an answer for that night, and justifying that night, was something that often crossed her mind, "Well hooking up is random and impulsive and…I knew what I was doing when I walked over to your house."

A strange feeling stirred in Freddy as he stared into the eyes of the girl in front of him who was being totally honest. He swallowed the lump that had mysteriously developed in his throat and replied seriously, "Yeah, me too. I mean…I knew what I was doing when I was going to head to your house."

He looked away and she nodded as she chewed her lower lip. For the first time ever there was an air of awkwardness between them.

Katie pushed past the awkwardness continuing with what she was originally saying, "And screw tradition, we won't be hooking up or having a repeat of past events."

"Welcome back bitter, let's get you a drink," Freddy replied, not really accepting her previous statement and trying to ignore the things in the back of his head that caused the lump.

Katie knew him well and knew his angle, "You're not getting me drunk. And I know it's an open bar and its Dewey's wedding so service to us is pretty much guaranteed, but I'm not drinking tonight. It's far too cliché to drink at a wedding."

But Freddy knew her well too and replied, "Like you ever care about being cliché. Let me guess, you've visited the bar and they don't serve the only thing you drink, they don't have Grey Goose."

"Only Smirnoff, ew," Katie said making a face of disgust.

Freddy laughed and commented, "Ah, I guess we really aren't hooking up since I can't get you drunk Kates."

"Kates?" she questioned with eyebrow raised.

Freddy shrugged like it was no big deal that he was giving her a new nickname because according to him, "Yeah, I never thought Posh was an appropriate nickname. You're nothing like the crappy talent-less momentary pop star. So, I don't know, this is the only other thing I could come up with."

Katie was fighting a ever spreading smile as she nodded and responded casually, "It works."

After a beat of comfortable silence as they stared out at the dancing couples Katie informed, "We're not changing your nick name though. Spazzy is still very much appropriate."

"I'm not spazzy," Freddy immediately responded and continued as an idea occurred to him, "And I'll prove it to you right now. Dance with me."

Katie glanced at her watch and responded, "If you wanted to dance with me you should have asked me sooner, we've been here four whole hours." She stood up and announced, "It's about time I get going though. I'm driving back early tomorrow morning because I have to work still tomorrow."

"I thought you were home for the summer," Freddy said surprised that she was suddenly leaving.

"No, just for today really. If I came back I'd have to find somewhere new to live in the fall, and I'd have to spend the summer living with my dad, so I stayed there and I'm working as a full time waitress at T.G.I. Friday's to keep the apartment even though it's crappy. I only got today off work so I just got here yesterday and I have to be back early tomorrow because I have to work he afternoon/night shift," Katie explained though she had been avoiding it all night. For some reason that she didn't think about, she didn't want to acknowledge that it was only one night. She continued because she, again for some unknown reason, felt guilty about not staying longer, "I'll e-mail you my address so you can come visit me sometime, you know whenever your parents are making you crazy."

Freddy suddenly couldn't think of a reason to stay at the reception any longer so he said, "Yeah speaking of the parents, I guess I should be getting back to the asylum." He stood up and asked hopefully, "Do you need a ride?"

Katie scanned the crowd again and replied, "Yes actually, I rode over with Summer and, well, I guess her and Zack have been off arguing or making up for a long time now."

Freddy started leading the way to his car and asked, "So do you think that their wedding will be the next one we go to?"

Katie shrugged and responded, "I don't know, Elenie and Marco looked pretty happy and in love."

"I thought you don't believe in that," Freddy commented as he opened the driver side door to his Jeep and got in.

Katie got in the passenger side and buckled up as she clarified, "I believe in love, just not that everyone finds it, or even anything a lot like it."

Freddy started the car and Guns 'N Roses "November Rain" came blasting through the speakers. With Katie giving him a questioning look, Freddy explained, "There's a wedding in the video so it seemed appropriate for driving to a wedding."

Freddy was the only person she knew who took the time to match the driving music to his destination. He began looking through his ipod that was plugged into his car and she waited to see what he would pick for the ride that would be another goodbye. Finally, after a couple of minutes of sifting Freddy settled on "Touch Me" by The Doors.

Katie laughed and repeated her stance, "Touching me is not where we're headed Freddy."

"It was worth a try," Freddy said as he pulled away from the curb.

Except for him saying that he'd drive her home, and her insisting that she would just walk from his house, there was no need for him to go out of his way, Freddy and Katie were silent for the ride back.

Once they got to his house they got out of his car and stood in the driveway for a second.

Freddy looked to his house, groaned, and said, "Please don't make me go in there. I swear I'm not trying to hook up, but come on, let me stay at your house, anything's better than home."

"You are such a crybaby," Katie said as Freddy pouted at her. She conceded, "Fine, you can sleep on the floor."

Freddy and Katie walked silently in the dead of the night to her house where they crept upstairs to her bedroom making as little noise as possible so they wouldn't wake her dad and step mom.

Katie gave Freddy a blanket and a pillow and took her pajamas to the bathroom so she could change. When she returned he was on the floor in front of her bed since furniture prevented him from laying on one side of it and if he laid on the other she would have to step over him to get in or out. She had changed into a pair of boy shorts and a tank and he had taken off the uncomfortable tux to just be in his boxers and socks. She rifled through a drawer and tossed him a Led Zeppelin t-shirt.

He sat up and looked at it questioning and she answered the unspoken question, "It's yours. I don't know how I ended up with it, but somehow it's been here forever."

He put it on and laid back down. After she got into her bed he asked, "So what time do I have to get out of here by?"

"Well I'm leaving at eight. I don't keep my car in the city, I keep at Trudy's sister's because she has a huge garage that's empty so I just leave it with her in the suburbs and take the train the rest of the way back. The last train that will get me back in time for work is at noon so if I don't leave by eight I'll be late. If you don't leave by the time I leave I'll have to do a lot of explaining over the phone, so you're going to have to get up early for once," Katie explained feeling guilty, again, that she was leaving.

"Okay," Freddy replied simply.

The both laid in silence in the darkness, thinking, and wishing for sleep.

After several minutes had gone by Katie asked knowing that he was still awake because he wasn't snoring, "Do you ever wish that you could go back to a simpler time, sometime when everything was easy and good and happy, but then when you try to think of a time like that, you can't remember any?"

He used to. He used to never remember feeling good and right, but very recently whenever he would think about it, some things, some times, would actually come to mind. But he couldn't deal with it, it didn't make sense and it couldn't be real. He responded with the answer that used to be true, "Yeah."

Katie didn't respond, she just laid in thought until sleep finally overcame her.

Sleep did not come as easily for Freddy. He laid awake with thoughts of the last thing, the last time, he was happy and when everything was good and easy and the things that came to mind, scared the hell out of him.

When Katie awoke the next morning at six thirty to the sound of her alarm, she found the spot in front of her bed vacant, but there was a note. The note said:


Your floor is too damn hard. My parents should be asleep now I'm sneaking back in. I'll come back to say goodbye.


And Freddy did return to her house minutes before eight to say goodbye, but instead of encountering Katie, her step mom, Trudy, answered the door and told him that Katie had left about fifteen minutes ago.

Katie had sat in her room packed and ready to go for five minutes before deciding that she didn't want to know whether or not he would come and she left twenty minutes before eight. She didn't know when it started, but she knew she cared, she knew that she didn't want to be disappointed, and she would be if he didn't come. She didn't want to get hurt again, so she left early and she never asked if he came.

Freddy never asked her why she didn't wait for him to say goodbye. He assumed that maybe she never found his note and just thought he left. Or maybe she just didn't care enough to say goodbye. And if she didn't care then why should he? It wasn't like it was goodbye forever or anything, he really shouldn't have been taking it so seriously, and he was determined to stop caring about it.

They both returned to their separate live determined to stop the persistent thoughts in their heads and ignore the newly discovered feelings in their hearts.


A/N: The next chapter will take place about ten months later and in it the reason for Katie's relationship with her father will be revealed. And one of them (Katie or Freddy) will make a decision concerning what they want in their life. If you're enjoying the story and you'd like me to continue PLEASE REVIEW and let me know. I also appreciate criticism as long as it's constructive. I especially appreciate grammar tips as I am rather bad with correct grammar. I apologize for any typos as well; I don't really sleep much so my tired eyes tend to over look them.

Oh, and in case you were wondering whether or not I actually believe Dewey and Ros would end up together, well I happen to share an opinion that Katie will be voicing at a later time in the story.

Also, everything in the story is important. Nothing in the fifteen and a half pages above was useless time wasting drabble. Even Katie's last name wasn't random, not that it's going to mean much, but more than just choosing anything since the movie didn't give her one and to use the last name of the actress that played her would have been far to meaningless. So, I hope you're paying attention, well actually I hope I'm captivating your attention.

I hope you're enjoying the story!

-Hopeless Romantic 86